Now let me start by saying that high blood pressure can be extremely dangerous if left unchecked. It can lead to heart disease and strokes, but also kidney disease and some forms of dementia and eye problems.
This article is not meant to be a replacement for seeking medical advice, more as information on how you can start to lower your blood pressure naturally, either with or without medication.
How is Blood Pressure Measured?
Blood pressure is measured using two readings, for example 135/85 mmHg.
The first reading is your Systolic blood pressure and this measures the pressure when your heart beats. It is higher because it is the pressure created as your heart pumps blood out.
The second reading is your diastolic blood pressure. This is always lower as it measures your blood pressure when your heart is relaxed between beats.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is generally rated in four ways:
1) Low – This range is anything below 90/60 mmHg
2) Ideal – Anything between 90/60 to 120/80
3) Pre-high – This covers the range 120/80 to 140/90
4) High – Anything above 140/90
Anything above ideal should be a warning and could lead to high blood pressure if not monitored. Here are 13 tips to try to reduce high blood pressure naturally:
1) Monitor Your Blood Pressure
You can purchase a Blood Pressure Monitor reasonably inexpensively from chemists or online.
Monitoring your own blood pressure on a regular basis allows you to understand your condition.
By taking regular readings across a period of time and at different times of the day will help you understand the nature and seriousness of your problem.
If you have a home monitor, then by implementing the following suggestions you will be encouraged as your readings start to fall. Hopefully this will encourage you further to begin taking control of your own health.
Finally having your own readings and blood pressure pattern will help medical practitioners in their diagnosis and treatment (if required).
2) Stop Smoking
I shouldn’t have to tell you this because you should already know that smoking causes health problems, but one of those problems is high blood pressure.
There is tons of help out there to help people overcome smoking addiction, so make today the day you become a non-smoker.
3) Reduce Alcohol Intake
The good news first, small amounts of alcohol can actually reduce your blood pressure by up to 4 mmHg!
The bad news is if you drink more than 1 or 2 drinks a day, you can increase your blood pressure by several points.
Alcohol can also diminish the effects of your blood pressure medication, so drink wisely.
4) Reduce Sodium Intake
You can reduce your blood pressure by up to 8 mmHg with just a small reduction of sodium in your system.
Through careful choice of food (read the labels) and by eliminating added salt to your food you can reduce your sodium intake.
Herbs and spices are healthy alternatives to salt to enhance the flavour of your food, although your palette will adjust eventually to the reduction in taste.
If you find you can’t cope with a sudden reduction in salt, then do it slowly over a period of time allowing your taste buds to adjust slowly.
5) Drink More Water
Drinking water is a great way to improve many aspects of your health, not just your high blood pressure.
Ensuring your body is hydrated allows it to function better and remove toxins more efficiently.
You body allocates it’s water supply in a set matter (vital organs take precedence), so you have to make sure you drink enough for your blood supply to get it’s share. Otherwise your blood gets thicker and increases the pressure as it travels through your cardio-vascular system.
Ideally you should drink at least 2 litres of water per day. I personally buy water in 2 litre bottles and ensure I drink a complete bottle every day.
6) Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Caffeine can be healthy in small doses, but like alcohol, if you ingest too much it has a negative effect on your health.
Caffeine is also a diuretic, which means it leeches water from your system, which is not good (see point 4 above).
7) Get Enough Sleep At Night
Try to get 7 to 8 good hours of sleep per night. It is generally recognised that getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis could increase your blood pressure.
Setting a regular time to go to bed can help to develop a healthy pattern of sleep.
If you struggle to drop off, try to avoid looking at any screens (TV, Laptop, Phone, Tablet) as this is known to increase brain activity. Instead try to read, or better still listen to some affirmations, meditative audio or relaxing music.
8) Reduce Stress
Life is stressful for most people, but try to be aware of what your stress high points are during the day and then try to find a way of controlling them better.
Chronic stress is a significant contributor to high blood pressure. I personally try to not worry about anything I do not have direct control of.
Stressing about minor things can be released easily and changing expectations or timescales of the major projects in your life (the ones that are causing you the most stress) can significantly reduce overall anxiety.
Finally, try to practice good time management.
Taking the time to study time management and implementing it in your busy schedule will have a great benefit to your stress levels and increase your productivity through the day.
9) Lose Weight
If you are carrying around a few (or many) extra pounds you are increasing your chances of suffering from high blood pressure.
Obesity is becoming a modern day plague and our children are inheriting our own bad habits.
You will know if you are overweight and, similar to smoking, there are many ways of getting help out there.
10) Exercise Regularly
Ok, you don’t need a gym pass if that is not your thing, but a few simple changes in your lifestyle can increase the amount of exercise you get daily.
Here are a few suggestions to try over the week:
- Walking for 30 minutes
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator
- Take up a sport you enjoy
If you are doing a significant change to your exercise, please take medical advice before proceeding, especially if you already have a high blood pressure condition.
11) Adopt a Healthy Diet
This is one of the simplest changes to make, but for many people it can be as difficult as giving up alcohol or smoking.
Eating natural food and moving away from modern processed food can have a significant impact on your health, weight, energy levels and help alleviate your high blood pressure.
Today’s modern diet is not what our body is designed to eat. In fact the way humans still function on a modern diet is a testament to the brilliance of the human body.
It is highly unlikely a motor vehicle would still function if it was fuelled so far from the manufacturers specifications as our modern diet does with fuelling our body!
Adopting a healthy lifestyle has amazing benefits. Give it a try for a week or a month and see how you feel as your body slowly cleanses and starts to heal the damage done by processed foods.
12) Get Support
To make some of these changes will require the support of your family and the people close to you in your life. It is important you sit them down, explain the changes you are making and why it is important to make them. Explaining why your high blood pressure could be life threatening if not checked may be a last resort, but it is important to get your family on-board.
If you can get your family to make the same changes with you, you could just be preventing them developing the same problems in later life.
Remember all of these changes are about adopting a better lifestyle to gain better all-round health that will have a significant impact on more than your blood pressure. If it is good for you, it will be good for your loved ones too.
13) Become Knowledgable
Become a student of your condition and your health in general, but don’t become a follower of just one person, book or website. By this, I mean do not just read one article on high blood pressure and implement it by itself.
Make sure you read what others have to say and make up your own mind as to what you are going to do and why you are doing it in particular. Remember that your doctor will not be a specialist on high blood pressure, so with some research, you can soon become quite knowledgable on the subject, although you must still seek medical advice.
One information product I have used myself to great effect is Slash Your Blood Pressure by Todd Grant. This gives your a much greater understanding of how you can personally take steps to lower your blood pressure and comes with an excellent recipe book too.
Click the here for more information:
Any medical condition can be a warning sign that you may not be on the right path healthwise, so study how to live more healthily and add longevity to your life.
Remember that as a parent you set the standards by what your children live to. What standard do you want to set for them?
Finally you must understand that most medical practitioners have little knowledge about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. They are there to concentrate on mending the ill.
In general ‘health care’ usually means ‘illness care’. The health system to too overloaded curing the sick to concentrate on preventing illness to start with.
You can take control of your high blood pressure problem and your health in general and this document is just a starter to get your brain thinking.
Don’t feel overwhelmed and think all these changes are too much to take on at once. You can start with just one or two and add the rest over time, but do please take action.
At Fit, Energised and Healthy we believe we can all take responsibility for our own, and our families, health.
Preventing illness through nutritional knowledge and an understanding of a healthy lifestyle is YOUR responsibility.
Please become a student of good health. There is loads of information and support on the internet for you to begin your journey for free.
We will continue to grow the resources on this website over time, so please get on our mailing list and we will keep you informed as new material is released.
We are not medical experts, but we have a passion for people to start taking responsibility before their health becomes a problem.
We want to help you by encouraging you to gain the knowledge you need to live a long and healthy life.
Fit, Energised & Healthy
p.s. Don’t forget to check out Todd’s book. You can access it by clicking here: https://fitenergised.com/recommends/SlashYourBloodPressure